Freddy Farid speaks about changes in Hotel Management at his hotel in Dubai.
Freddy Farid, MD, Two Seasons Hotel in Dubai in conversation with Raj Bhatt, CEO, Hozpitality Group
Freddy Farid known for his performance-oriented management skills and his exceptional experience in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. He continues to progress throughout the hospitality industry, with a focus on all areas of hospitality management, operations and development with in-depth knowledge of the Middle East and GCC markets.
Graduated in 1981 with B.A from the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management in Cairo, Egypt, he started his career with Hilton and moved up the ladder to become Divisional Director of Sales at Hilton Abu Dhabi in 1993.
By 1995 Freddy Farid was appointed as the General Manager of Baynunah Hilton Towers in Abu Dhabi.
Dedicated to quality and development, Freddy Farid was promoted to Rotana's flagship property; the Beach Rotana Hotel and Towers in Abu Dhabi as General Manager in 2005. With 556 rooms and 11 food & beverage outlets.
The thrive drove him soon after to land the position of Area Vice President, Abu Dhabi and AI Ain with Rotana Hotels in 2006.
In May 2008 Freddy moved from Rotana group to join Layia Hospitality in Dubai as the Area Vice President and Managing Director. Farid is currently serving as the Area General Manager of Gloria Hotel Dubai since September 2012.
With a focus now for the launching of Two Seasons brand of hotels as the Managing Director, Farid is currently preparing the property, and its team geared for its “brand statement of personalized service with quality standard” which is ideally in time before Expo 2020.
Farid envisions further expansion of the brand catering both GCC and overseas lifestyle hotel clientele.
Hozpitality:- Your hotel is going through a management change, tell us more about it ?
Freddy:- Al Ghaith Holdings LLC, Owners of Gloria Hotel and Hotel Apartments decided to establish their own homegrown hospitality division under “Two Seasons Hotel Management Company LLC”. The decision to part ways was based on mutual understanding between Al Ghaith Holdings and Gloria Management Company.
Hozpitality:- What is mainly going to change, how will you be different from how you are today for your guests and staff?
Freddy:-To start a massive renovation program is currently undergoing for all hotel’s 504 guest rooms and Lobby renovation. A new company vision, mission and core values has been introduced to the staff, and training for the new brand is on-going. Our focus will be personalized serviced and quality standard.
Hozpitality:-There are many international brands in Dubai and you are running a home grown brand, is it a challenge when it comes to competing with other branded hotels around you ?
Freddy:- Not really, as most of all hotels whether international, local or regional brands focus primarily on service delivery product value and customer service. However, local brands understands more local culture, and react quickly to clients and stakeholders.
Hozpitality:- Do you think International brands are important for success of any hotel, particularly in Dubai?
Freddy:- Not necessarily, every brand has its strength in the local market and based on customer loyalty.
Hozpitality:- How are you different as an experience for your guests staying with you?
Freddy:- We are offering one of the largest one bedroom and two bedroom suites, and fully equipped serviced apartments; And one of our unique offerings, we are focusing on Kids’ and Families; our Kids Club activities make it ideal for family guests staying with us.
Hozpitality:- How do you take care of your internal team? How important is HR development for you?
Freddy:- Our internal guests are a key fundamental aspect of our success. Training and development is one of our major KPIs. Various incentive programs had been designed per department, and social welfare programs have been designed to ensure our internal guests are driven.
Hozpitality:- What are your future plans in this region?
Freddy:- We are already finalizing two projects; one hotel apartments and lifestyle hotel expected to be completed by 2021. We are aiming also to expand in the MENA area once our new brand is launched.
Hozpitality:- So many new hotel rooms and brands are coming into the market, does this bother you?
Freddy:- At this stage, I say yes. I believe competition is always healthy but when the supply exceed the demand, it became a critical concern.
Hozpitality:- Expo 2020 is coming to Dubai, are you excited?
Freddy:- Of course, the entire UAE is excited about this mega event.
Rapid Fire questions:-
Hozpitality:- You forgot your wife’s birthday and remembered only next day, what would you do?
Freddy:- Send her a bouquet of her favorite flower with a note of apology, and full-day spa treatment gift. (Hope it will ease the situation).
Hozpitality:- What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy Off day?
Freddy:- Watch movies and relax by the pool
Hozpitality:- Do you think everyone has the capacity to be a LEADER?
Freddy:- Leadership is both quality and skills; we do not all have the capacity to be a leader. A Leader is born in us, though we can learn to be better at it.
Learning comes from experience – leadership is human ability.
Hozpitality:- When you see peers + competitors getting things you want, how do you react?
Freddy:- I feel happy for them, and think what I could do differently to achieve that.