Having first served in the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, Rifaat Salih Sabet, now, Cluster General Manager of Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and Resort in Ghantoot, is sailing towards success in the hospitality sector.
Serving the nation
An Iraqi national by birth, Sabet and his family lived in Al Ain right throughout his life. He completed education and moved on to working for the nation. Enlisting to serve in the army in the technical branch in 1979, Sabet had the opportunity to receive the training, which acted as a foundation throughout his career.
Sabet was head hunted by Sheraton and given all the training necessary for the hospitality industry. This was a totally unexpected line of work, which also became a great turning point in his life. It opened more opportunities for him in the trade as he joined Hyatt Regency and Bustan heading as Director Sales and Marketing. The charismatic gentleman was once again head hunted by His Excellency Mohamed Bin Bandooq as Director Sales and Marketing this time in Ghantoot or as Sabet says in ‘Abu Dubai’ due to the close proximity to both emirates. He served in Golden Tulip Al Jazira as Director Sales and Marketing from 2002 to 2010.
Joining the team back in 2016 after a five year gap this time as Cluster General Manager of the most sought after resort destination in the United Arab Emirates, the two properties have seen an increase in guests and a whole new line of activities. The one located in Ghantoot consists of the hotel with 84 rooms in different categories and 30 bungalows or villas in a separate area secluded and much revered by families especially from the GCC where the families can freely enjoy the beautiful pool, private beach stretch, one of the longest in the pristine area.
Sabet believes in setting standards, mentoring and motivating a team of different nationalities spread over three separate properties. His careful attention to detail and keen eye to spot the markets and clientele has made him not just a team player, but an enchanting personality who works towards obtaining profits for the management whilst ensuring that the team is also kept content to better serve the customers. He states, “One of the most motivating factors for any human being is when he or she is recognised for the contribution made towards the company or the property in this case, if they are secured in their finances, they automatically become happy and are ready to serve wholeheartedly.”
Fascinating lessons in life
Discipline and training in the military designs a person to go beyond the limits to ensure that the customer is kept happy right throughout the stay. He mentions that the key markets such as Russia, Germany and the UK enjoy the property, especially the bungalows as it is the perfect getaway to enjoy and unwind just a few minutes from the city in one of the lush green areas in the vicinity. The beach club in the property draws most crowds in winter from all emirates and the GCC region as well.
Relationships sans profits
Sabet believes that the success to any business is through maintaining good relationships with partners and stakeholders. He states that travel agents and tour operators play an integral part in promoting the property and participation in international travel trade exhibitions provides the perfect platform for business.