Primed with 20 years of experience in hotel management and a familiarity with the city when it was still young, Adham El Sebaey took on the challenge to be a part of the Hilton Al Ain once more.
“I came from a branch of Hilton in Barbados, an independent island nation in the Caribbean, and was its Senior Director of Operations until recently. I am here at Hilton Al Ain on my first role as a General Manager, though this is not the first time that I have been here. I had worked as the hotel’s Banquet Manager for five years, from 1991 to 1996,” El Sebaey introduced.
But although his adaptability and memories of friendship in the city already sets an advantage, El Sebaey remains keen in maintaining Hilton Al Ain its presence. “Al Ain is developing a lot. Since I arrived three months ago, I can already see big improvement in the business. In fact, last November 2007 was the highest revenue we achieved since the opening of the hotel 40 years ago. I am not saying it is because of me personally, but because business is really growing and developing.”
“For this, I want to make sure that we keep on progressing. I also want to develop my team members and the other hotel staff for the satisfaction of our guests. We have to really work hard in developing activities for the community, and establish strong yet good public relation policy with the rest of Al Ain,” the new General Manager added.
Outlining the types of changes a hotel may undergo, El Sebaey also shared the plans Hilton Al Ain might consider. “There are two types of changes: changes in operation, which refers to how you do things; and changes in product, which requires planning and heavy investment. The hotel has plans, but nothing is concrete yet. We are still studying various scenarios that could cater for the market in the coming years, as the demands then will be different from the demands now. We are just making sure that our next project is the right one.”
Competition is also far from El Sebaey’s mind. “I want to focus on ourselves, and not talk about other hotels. We want to have the right product for the right people. And I think with the diversity of us in the hotel, we can easily target and cater for almost all aspects and all communities… It is all about developing relationships and getting people inside the hotel. Gaining their confidence. Doing something new and different so that people would just come. The hotel, historically, is really strong and very good in all markets.”
“We are very, very committed and excited as well to become leaders of certain things. All of us have a vision. All of us have a plan. All of us work towards a goal. And, working as part of a team, I can drive things. I can share them my experiences, coming from a different religion and environment. I can give them guidance. I am also an active and energetic person, and I can set a good pace. Working in a hotel is always nice. This is something I always admire in life, and I like what I am doing.”