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Thu 5 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

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Atlantis needs 3500 staff to launch

CEO reports staff development underway as Palm Jumeirah icon gears up for September opening.

The recruitment and training of 3500 employees is the next stage in getting Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah up and running prior to its September 24 opening date.

This is according to Kerzner International Management FZ LLC president and managing director Alan Leibman, who was speaking to Leisure Manager at the recent Arabian Travel Market (ATM) held in Dubai from May 6-9.

"We're well along in construction, we're snagging the rooms, the furniture is going in, so we're really now focused on getting the operation up and running," said Leibman.

"Everything is starting to come together; we're getting the human resources in, we're getting the people in, we're getting the product in, so we're starting to get the place ready to open," he said.

Leibman explained that the Atlantis team would be recruited from three different sources.

"We're bringing some people out of our One&Only resorts, which is our boutique hotel complex; we've brought some people out of Atlantis in the Bahamas and that's good because they understand Kerzner and who we are; and then we're bringing in wonderful people from more than 20 different countries worldwide so that's going to give a nice mix to the nationality of our people to really make up the experience for our customers," he said.

There is currently temporary housing for the staff, with work on a permanent residence in Jumeirah Village South eight months away from completion, added Leibman.

He revealed that one of the appointments being finalised was the role of spa director. Leibman said the Atlantis spa would be operated in-house, whereas the spa at the Bahamas property is run by Mandara.

He added that it is the quality of people at Atlantis The Palm, "from a celebrity chef perspective to the talent running the business", that would make the destination both stand out and be delivered on schedule.

"I think we have an incredible development team, wonderful partners and a very clear goal and a chairman [Sol Kerzner] that sets an objective and won't let go," he said.

"One of our core values is ‘good enough never is'. We're constantly striving for perfection and we live and breathe that every day. We do it, we expect it from our people and we set high expectations - that's what is going to allow us to open on September 24," concluded Leibman.

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