Ghanim Al Marri is the Emiratisation director for Jebel Ali International Hotels, which runs multiple properties, including Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa. He speaks about a typical day working in the hospitality industry.
I get up. After I pray I come back home, read the Quran and have my breakfast. If you work in hospitality it's like a drug that goes through your blood. You don't want to work anywhere else because every day you do something different and you are helping people. This is my achievement.
I start work. Every day there is something. Sometimes I get a phone call (from one of the hotels) to say can you come over here? And it's not in my plan but I have to go. There may be a staff problem (related to Emiratisation). One time one guy said I want to go to pray and his (expatriate) manager said go to the toilet (to pray). These issues are very sensitive. Before I start Emiratisation I say we need to develop the (expatriate) managers. You need to educate them. I hold a workshop about Emirati culture and Islam.
We have a team meeting. (We talk) about what we are going to do about team building, handling complaints. I have to make sure the training department under me is doing the right (things) and if there are problems we design some new concepts. I am trying to build a proper foundation, a special handbook for Emiratis with policy procedures. After the team meeting I go round the hotel visiting each department. Sometimes managers say we need to do this or that. They have some ideas.
To be honest I get bored with the hotel lunch. I have been here for 20 years. I try to eat anything from outside, sandwiches or something.
I sit with the training specialist to see what we are going to do with the managers, what type of training we are going to give them. I have a meeting with HR to see what is happening with the nationals. I tell them what I am doing and ask what they are planning to do. We share information and we talk about recruitment and any projects. We go through (the jobs) and see if they are suitable for an Emirati. One guy asked if there were any barmen. I said what are you talking about? No Emirati could work as a barman.
I go home and arrange my small gym bag. I go three times a week. If you work in a hotel you have to go to the gym to take all the stress out.
I go home or to a restaurant.
I go to sleep.
* Gillian Duncan