Inside Al Raha

28 May 2016
3 min read
FOUR heads to Al Raha Beach Hotel, one of Abu Dhabi’s latest gems from Danat Hotels, to speak to Kamal Zayati about what it takes to make a fine hotel…

From France totheUnited Arab Emirates, Kamal Zayati,General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Beach hotel, has over 40 years in hotel management.He studied economics attheUniversityofTunis in which he graduatedin 1972. From there he headed toFrance and received a Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1976, before gaining his firstpositionofgeneral manager atthe age of just 28, by 35 he waselectedthebest directorin one of theworld’slargest companies.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got into the role of GM for Al Raha Beach Hotel?

It began nearly twenty years withthefamilyofHyatt International Hotel in several cities including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tunisia, Malaysia, and many others. I worked with them until 2001 before returning toTunisia tocollaboratewiththehoteloneofthe most prestigious hotels at the time;Hohsdrobal Talasa & Spa. I stayed there until2005 beforebeginningmy journey with Al Raha Beach Hotel inthecityofAbu Dhabi.Istarted working just a few months afteritopened and last year wecelebrated its ten year anniversary.

What drew you fromthebeginning to workin thefieldoftourism?

Inprinciple, it’sjustacoincidence.I think this case isalot of workinthis area.I was not given meaplan after graduating fromtheUniversityofTunis, but this was approvedby thetimingof thetourism boom inthenational andtheArab world in general.SoIstudied hotel managementinFrance and I got a degree after4 years,andthen spent two years of management training inadifferent country,so my professional history began.

What is your business philosophy in regards to theBeach Hotel team?

It’saculture. The approach towards whatever task we do must be agreed upon by the whole working team.Amongthemost importantofmy goals isplanting determination,devotion and other noble values ​​within each of my team members. This reflects in everything they do and how they deal with the customers. I want every worker to beproudofbeing part of theBeach Hotel family.

Do you haveanymotto’s that you havefollowed in your life?

My motto is always “passion,passionand more passion”.Aperson will be successful in creating a lasting buisinessbecause of his passion for the work at hand.

What would you say has been the greatest moment of yourlife so far?

Thegreatest achievementofmy life is my family.I did not allow my family to overshadow my duties.I succeededinmy work becauseIwasable to balancetheequation betweenthepractical and my family so I feelthis isthe greatest achievementofmy life.

What is yourbiggest fear?

I think more than fear, my biggest enemy is time. It passes quickly. You can’t wait for anyone and you can’t control it either. I feel I still have a lot to achieve but I feel like I’malways inarace against time.

Where in the world would you say offers the best hotels?

In my opinion Asian hotels are some of the best hotels because of the levels of hospitality.Hospitality is an integral part of Asian culture, as well as hotels themselves, so for me they are well equipped for the levels of service. This coupled with it being generally cheaper to access that in Europe make them prime destinations. I must mention that the hotels in Dubai andAbu Dhabi are alsodoing well and I think starting to equal the levels of their Asian counterparts.

What are your goalsfor thefuture?

Eventually I would like to have my consulting firm to convey all my experienceinthis fieldtothoseinneed. I am also planning onallocatingsome time to my favourite hobbies, namely golf.

What is your advicefor people starting out inthefieldoftourism?

My advicetothem istoexploit all resources around them make their development moveat lightening speed.In my case we did not have access to the great wealth of technology such as that availble to the current generations, so I would utilise this presence to the maximum and use it topavetheway for today’syouth towards progress. I also advise them to give their adequate share of passion because this is what is needed if they really wantsuccess.

For more information about Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi, click here…