Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa assistant security manager Jacques David says his work is to ensure guests remain safe and secure, and every day poses a different challenge.
How long have you been with the Shangri-La? What did you do before you joined the property?
Every day you have the feeling of making sure that whoever comes and stays in the resort is in safe hands.
My first appointment with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts was in 2003, starting as a CCTV Monitor in Shangri-La Dubai, where I got promoted to security supervisor after only two months. After working there for four years I moved to Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Muscat, where I have been working as the assistant security manager for 17 months now.
What do you have to do in a normal day? What does your job entail?
On a regular day I take care of the day-to-day manning of the guard. Considering that Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa is a large resort with hotels, a marina, Omani heritage village and spa village, all on 124 acres, it is very important to have sufficient manning in all relevant areas within the resort to ensure safety and security for all guests.
What training have you received in your role?
During my time working for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts I have had a wide range of additional relevant training such as crisis management training, fire fighting training, first aid training, rescue training and time management training. I think all of these are essential for someone in my profession, as security is responsible for the well-being of guests and employees at all times.
What do you enjoy the most about working in the security team?
What I like most about working in security is that apart from it being an exciting job, every day you have the feeling of making sure that whoever comes and stays in the resort is in safe hands. And they will be safe during their entire stay, because in the security team we are taking care of that 24/7.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in the security team?
What I have experienced as the most challenging part of my duty so far is the language barrier among the staff. Working in this region involves working with an extensive number of nationalities. In our resort we currently have a total of more than 1240 employees from 43 different nationalities, which makes it a great challenge for all to be on the same level of communication. But during the last eighteen months I have experienced a lot of improvement, mainly due to additional language skills training implemented by our internal training department.
In your time on the team, has anyone tried to breach the security of the property? What did you do?
Fortunately we have only experienced some minor cases of trespassing since our opening in February last year, and in all cases we were able to either solve it ourselves, or we simply handed it over to the local authorities.
What is your most memorable moment since starting the job?
The warm welcome I received upon my arrival at the resort.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in three years time?
Hopefully I can gain as much experience within security as possible and move on to the next step of becoming a security manager.
How do you think you have improved in the job over time?
My opinion is that you can learn skills and abilities at any time, but what you need in order to be excellent is experience and time to gain confidence in your job. Over the past few years of working in security I gained a great deal of confidence, and that's what helps me excel in what I do.
If you could work at any property in the world, where would you want to work? And why?
Being an ambassador for a well known Asian hospitality company in the Middle East for several years now, it would be interesting to gain experience in another part of the world as well. And with Shangri-La properties opening in Europe, USA, Canada - and many more major cities all over the globe - there's enough opportunity to do so.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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