HMH to hire 400 hoteliers

Group hiring hoteliers prior to opening three new properties in 2012

Dubai-based Hospitality Management Holdings group, which has 33 hotels under management in the UAE and the Middle East, aims to hire 400 hoteliers this year as it looks to add 500 keys to its portfolio, said a senior official The group, which has four brands under its umbrella, will open three properties in UAE this year apart from a number of projects being negotiated with third parties for management in the UAE and region.

“We have a number of significant openings coming up in 2012 that will add about 500 keys to our existing room supply in the UAE. In addition we are negotiating some fabulous new projects. The UAE remains one of the most steadily growing markets in the region with guest arrivals on the rise. This is primarily because UAE offers all the magical elements (sun, fun, sea, sand, shopping, convenience, great infrastructure, excellent meeting facilities, and value for money) that attract travellers. Add to this the political stability, geographic advantages of the country and the ease of global travel via the highly successful and progressive carriers,” said Michel Noblet, President and Chief Executive of Hospitality Management Holdings – popularly known as HMH.

“The UAE remains the most fertile ground for any new hotel development. We are going to open The Ajman Palace, Corp Executive Hotel Al Khoory and EWA Deira in 2012. Almost 400 people will be added to our team of professionals,” Noblet told Emirates 24l7.

Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotels’ Associate Vice-President for Human Resources Anne Oberdoerster told Emirates 24l7 recently that the group is embarking on a major hiring spree starting from March 2012 prior to the opening of four new properties in the UAE.

Oberdoerster said Rotana will recruit more than 1,000 hoteliers by June. She told Emirates24l7 that the group will hire highly trained and experienced hoteliers in the senior category while the junior staff will be hired from abroad, whereby ready skills are less important and the attitude counts. The group will tap the local talent as well as hire from the overseas markets to fill a wide range of junior, middle and senior level positions.

The growth in UAE hospitality sector – particularly in Dubai – is poised for breakneck speed with major local and international hotel brands opening new properties. This year will see more than two dozen new hotels openings their doors to welcome guests, resulting in major hiring spree for all sorts of positions. This year will also witness opening of Marriott International - the first 807-room tower of the 1,608-room JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road, expected to be the world’s tallest hotel at 1,164 feet. According to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing 27 new hotels will open this year requiring thousands of new hoteliers to manage these properties.

HMH President and CEO Noblet said hiring for the new hotels has already begun through open days and recruitment companies but it’s finding hard to employ talented and experienced staff.

“Several positions are available at the moment though some senior positions have already been filled. We do face a lot of challenge in this aspect. There is a big shortage of skilled workers in our industry. Well-qualified and intelligent staff seemed to have become an important criteria for hiring. However, when it comes to academic prowess, a well-trained person with a ‘can do’ attitude is much more appropriate for our business. We hire both locally and internationally,” Noblet added.

He said the group provides both beginners and experienced workers world-class training/cross training with the necessary opportunities and environment for career development.

“With 33 hotels operational across the Middle East and Africa, we are well placed to recruit and promote deserving candidates. We encourage and trust young and enthusiastic workers with responsible positions.

Our demanding and rigorous training programmes are designed to help employees reach a high level of competency. In addition, regular appraisals and professional assessment system are strictly followed in our organisation that facilitates career growth,” he added.

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