Name: Ammar A.
Position: Front Office Manager
Location: The St. Regis Red Sea Resort
Dream destination: A long vacation to Greece
Drink or treat of choice: Saudi coffee. It symbolizes hospitality and tradition in my country.
Surrounded by the Red Sea waters on the private island of Ummahat, lies the new The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, a unique destination hotel that is set to open its doors later this year. From the beachfront villas to the private pools, signature spa and first-class restaurant, everything in this property is designed to “transcend the ordinary”, and to guarantee that level of luxury, there’s a team of people that have been training meticulously for months ahead of the opening. Leading that team is Ammar, a Front Office Manager with experience in pre-opening some of the most luxurious hotels in Saudi Arabia, his home country.
“I have experienced numerous moments of pride throughout my career, but one of the most important to me has been being involved in the opening of new Marriott hotels during their expansion in Saudi Arabia,” he says.
As a Front Office Manager, before the hotel opens Ammar’s main role consists of leading the training sessions for the team to ensure the team is ready, “So they can operate within the highest luxurious service standards to meet and even exceed our future guests’ expectations, as the St. Regis Red Sea Resort is the first Marriott property in this amazing destination,” he explains.
As Ammar explains, when it comes to opening a luxe hotel, this is not his first experience. Ammar’s Marriott journey began in 2017, when he joined the company as a Front Office Agent, determined to make a difference. And he did! So much so that he was selected by the ministry of tourism of Saudi Arabia to complete a master’s degree in Global Hospitality Management at the prestigious hospitality business school Les Roches in Marbella, Spain, which he recently completed.
Keep reading to learn more about Ammar’s Marriott journey to one the most exclusive properties in the world, below.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve been able to do at Marriott so far?
As a Saudi and associate of Marriott, I’m privileged to be part of the expansion of Marriott in my country. I have worked in four Marriott properties in different cities, which allowed me to work with a lot of young Saudi talents and enabled me to share my knowledge and experience with them.
What was your Marriott interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
It was an inspiring process that truly tested my capabilities and let me showcase my potential. They did a thorough evaluation of my problem-solving skills, customer service abilities, and past experiences through behavioral and situational questions. They also assessed my technical knowledge and language proficiency. My tips are to be yourself and express your career objectives openly, which will also help the employer find the right career path for you.
How would you describe Marriott’s culture?
There is a healthy and motivating work environment. Marriott is known for its strong company culture, which is characterized by service excellence, spirit to serve, diversity, teamwork, collaboration, celebrating success and recognition. To me, the culture is one of the main factors that makes Marriott unique.
Favorite part of working at The St. Regis?
The company provides a wide range of avenues to help you grow and progress in your career, like training programs, mentoring, and promotion. Those are pathways that help employees improve their skills and move up within the organization.
Describe a moment you felt supported at The St. Regis.
There are many! I have always been surrounded by supportive leaders who involved me in tasks that were above my position and that allowed me to expand my knowledge and expedite my career growth.
What is your favorite part of the job?
What I love the most in my job is to engage with a diverse range of guests from different backgrounds and cultures on a daily basis. These interactions make me learn and improve and broaden my understanding every day.
What does a good day at work look like for you?
As a Front Office Manager in a hotel there is nothing more inspiring than seeing all guests satisfied and happy during their stay. It is a great feeling to know that your team has provided excellent customer service and that all their hard work has paid off.