A passionate professional and a hotelier hailing from a family that’s steeped in the hospitality industry, Sherif Madkour spearheads Media Rotana as the General Manager in providing a new strategy in leadership to ensure effective management.
An Egyptian national with a degree from Helwan University’s Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management in Cairo, Egypt, Sherif Madkour went on to complete his post graduate studies from Brighton College in the UK.
Henceforth, his hospitality career took off to a flying start in the UK. Madkour then moved to Germany and worked in various brands such as Lindner Congress Hotels and Best Western Hotels Frankfurt before moving to UAE in 1999 where he joined the Hyatt Regency. Later, he moved in to the Hilton and was at the opening of Hilton Dubai Creek as Assistant Department head in 2001. He joined Rotana in 2005 as the department head and carried out different assignments with bespoke properties of Rotana. In 2007, he had the opportunity to lead the opening of the Centro brand Al Barsha, a widely recognised business hotel in Dubai. Thereafter, he completed a stint in Rotana Abu Dhabi with brands such as Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana in revamping the properties.
Travellers from Europe
His experience in the hospitality trade in some of the most respected cities gives him an edge to provide the necessary strategic plans to further develop and sustain the property. Related the difference in terms of travellers from the European region and Middle East, Madkour said, “Europeans in general and Germans specifically love travelling and planning ahead. They have already started planning for 2019 holidays now, booking and even making advance payments. The Middle East travellers are more last minute with their bookings and depend on technology with bookings made through smart phones.”
Impact of technology
Madkour notes, “Social media is the new trend in almost every sector. Online bookings have become the latest pattern in travel. In this part of the world, last minute travels are more prevalent than the carefully planned travels such as the Europeans. Travel has become very fast paced; a hotel without internet cannot survive. Technology has had a great impact over the last 15-20 years in the hospitality business.”
Personalisation & human interaction
Although technology plays a pivotal role in the hospitality industry, the human element will still be of utmost importance. Guests who enter a hotel expect a warm smile from a human welcoming them. Madkour shares, “The human element is the real factor in hospitality. Hospitality is based on one to one service, interaction with guests and personalised services.”
With personalities such as Madkour, heading home-grown brand Media Rotana, Dubai is surely going on a rapid growth trajectory towards achieving the results for not just Expo 2020, but way beyond. Dubai has become a hub for business, incentives and corporates with all international companies showing a keen interest to have a footprint in the city. Madkour commends the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in establishing a solid growth of all sectors.