Powering through the summer

The summer has a tendency to dampen spirits in the Gulf, with many hoteliers waiting with baited breath to see how business fares during the hottest months and whether the impact of Ramadan will be better or worse than the year before.
Powering through the summer
By Louise Oakley
Fri 17 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

The summer has a tendency to dampen spirits in the Gulf, with many hoteliers waiting with baited breath to see how business fares during the hottest months and whether the impact of Ramadan will be better or worse than the year before.

If I had a dirham for everytime someone laughingly said “ask me after summer”, I could well afford to take an extended holiday this summer myself.

Britons are often mocked for talking about the weather, but I have never experienced as many conversations about the weather — and worryingly, as many eventualities blamed on the weather — as I have in Dubai.

The risk this poses, however, is that if line staff see their managers effectively ‘giving up’ and biding time until summer is over, they too are bound to become demotivated and less confident of success.

This is exactly the reverse of what should be happening in the industry at the moment. As InterContinental Dubai Festival City executive sous chef Christian Knerr rightfully asserted in the July issue's rountable feature, now is the time to be aggressive.

And he was supported wholeheartedly by his fellow chefs, with the consensus being that if you stick your head in the sand during the summer months, you might as well reach out for the noose that hangs you once it is over.

Strong words, but what else would you expect from the region’s top chefs?

And they make a good point. Hotels are full of hard-working individuals that are dedicated to the hospitality industry. Now is the time to pull teams together and work that little bit harder to not only survive the summer, but to come out stronger on the other side.

To help provide some inspiration during the quieter months, Hotelier Middle East has complied its first-ever Power 50 — a list of the people we believe are the most influential in the region’s hospitality industry.

The reasons behind each person’s inclusion on this list may vary — some are owners or architects, others have founded hotel chains, and a few are GMs making a difference — but the message it drives home is that the industry in the Middle East is only as successful as it is because of the people behind it.

After all, the hotel business is a people business and this is what must be remembered and recognised during tougher times.

That is why we have also highlighted the Hotelier Middle East Awards this month.

The nomination deadline of August 31 is fast-approaching, so make sure you round up your teams and submit the best candidates.

Your housekeepers, stewards, PRs, accounts managers and green champions may not be eligible for the Power 50, but they could certainly be worthy of a Hotelier Middle East Award.

Make sure they don’t miss out.

Louise Oakley is the editor of Hotelier Middle East. Click here to view the Hotelier Middle East Power 50

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