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34525 21 Dec 2022

MEAHEA 2022: Khaled Saab, General Manager of the Year

The 8th Middle East Hospitality Excellence Awards has recognized Khaled Saab of Residence Inn by Marriott SZR as the General Manager of the Year.

Khaled Saab, the General Manager of the largest and tallest Residence Inn by Marriott hotel in the globe feels ultimate pride and contentment to manage such an iconic property with quality craftmanship in the prime location. The Residence Inn by Marriott on Sheikh Zayed Road is a unique edifice that is considered the tallest and largest Residence Inn by Marriott all over the globe. The hotel boasts of breaking all the records by creating the largest gym, largest spa, 430 suites available for short-term/ long-term overlooking Dubai city, and the rooftop lounge on the 47th floor.

Residence Inn by Marriott Sheikh Zayed Road is the top choice for leisure and business tourists attributable to its proximity to the World Trade Center, the commercial district, and tourist hotspots. When asked about the outlook for 2023, Saab stated, “The year 2023 looks promising, with the great product we have and after the comprehensive renovations being done in all areas. We anticipate Residence Inn by Marriott Sheikh Zayed Road to acquire the maximum share of the market.”

Saab credits his team for the success of the hotel. According to him, every employee should feel valued and know that their efforts are contributing to the company's expansion. When teamwork and contributions are valued equally, a corporation is more likely to reach its highest and greatest goals.

“Leadership is an ART,” says Khaled Saab who feels that leaders should be highly educated and obtain certain characteristics and skills. The role of the General Manager is sensitive and unique. To succeed as a GM, one should know how to deal with different mindsets and know how to deal with people whether it’s staff or guests. Throughout his career, Saab has mentored his staff to achieve a better career and personality. He sets an exemplary example for his group, and contributing to their success makes him content.

In 1996, when there were only a few hotels in the city, Saab took a job in the hospitality sector in Dubai. He believes that visionary leadership has everything to do with Dubai’s success.

Saab attributes his sales experience as the reason he decided to work in the hospitality industry. Being in sales helps one to build a career and personality. “Sales is not a job. It’s a lifestyle,” claims Saab. Due to the strong pressure and requirement to accomplish goals and take on more challenging responsibilities in order to succeed, a sales career aids in confidence building.

"Covid has taught us many things in business," Saab adds while referring to Covid. Most importantly managing people with less manpower.” Prior to Covid, the hotel had 300 staff and now it’s been managed remarkably well with 170 staff multitasking in various roles. This has encouraged the company to increase the remuneration and benefits of the current workforce.

As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and the one that employs the most people, Saab thinks it's critical to encourage young people to work in the hospitality sector. One can easily find employment due to the numerous opportunities available, particularly in the UAE.