10 Jan 2014

Nehme Imad Darwiche, CEO, Jannah Hotels and Resorts

Confident in his company’s bright prospects, Nehme Imad Darwiche, CEO, Jannah Hotels and Resorts introduced MENA Luxury to his vision for the brand, explaining how it is reflects the noble Bedouin hospitality, characteristic for the Liwa Desert.

TTG: What is the ethos and concept your newly launched property? 

The Eastern Mangroves Suites by Jannah offers a true destination experience on the shores of natural mangroves, providing luxury suites, international dining brands and entertainment facilities. Its goal is to surpass expectations through providing Karim services to its first class guests whilst becoming the suites of choice for corporate and leisure, domestic and international guests.

TTG: How does Jannah Hotels & Resorts elevate the luxury experience of its guests? How do you exceed their expectations? 

Instead of beating the competition, we changed the rules of the game and went ahead by offering a whole new design of service. We created an urban resorts embedded in an apartment hotel complex inspired by the luxurious hotel suites and complemented by the unique Karim services. 

TTG: Who has shown the most interest in your property so far? 

Eastern Mangroves Suites by Jannah caters to individual guests, frequent business travelers and small corporate and executive meetings spanning a wide range of industries and organisations, including manufacturing, government, defense, technology, telecom, pharmaceutical, insurance, consultancy and financial. In addition, Eastern Mangroves Suites by Jannah will be the place to stay for local families visiting Abu Dhabi, as well as leisure travellers from the GCC. 

Our guests are mid- to upper-income level travellers who expect a full spectrum of personalised services tailored to their needs and the convenience of staying in a lodging product designed to reflect the feeling of home. 

TTG: How are you looking to capitalise on the digital tools and opportunities? 

We are the greatest believers in social media and we developed a Social Media Protocol which has a chaotic flow and naturalises it into an order. For example, Jannah Hotels and Resorts tweets and posts the whole day, but the protocol says that we, the brand ambassadors, stop each day at 19:00 and retweet, share on Facebook, like on YouTube, share on LinkedIn, and similar. With this order we echo the brand massage to a bigger audience.

Also, we have a position in our organisation called the Buzz Executive and she is in charge of mastering the organic grow in influence, but so is the GM of any of our hotels. He needs to engage our guests and employees, or ambassadors as we like to call ourselves, in a two way communication on all social media. Thus, if a guest has a question on Facebook, it is the GM’s responsibility to reply.

We actually screen our employees’ social media activity levels before we hire them.

I laughed once when I was at a competitor headquarters and I heard the VP of human resources speaking about blocking Facebook from all computers. I knew then that our approach toward social media will be a successful one. If you ask our ambassadors, they would tell you that there a big possibility that they would get a phone call from me complaining about why they have not been on their Facebook page today.

TTG: Where do you see Jannah Hotels & Resorts expanding to next? 

Jannah Hotels & Resorts is owned by its corporate executives which makes us a highly efficient machine. Prior to our launch, we had three new management deals signed that will be announced shortly. One of them is of course Dubai. 

Being previously an employee of two great management companies that took on the word by expanding to a whole new level, I have learned to first prepare and then go after the target of choice and not be driven by greed and the need to expand, but by the love and passion we hold dear to the word ‘hospitality’. In the years to come, you will see us grow inshallah, and as we grow, we are adopting the pace of nature, as her secret is patience. Our logo is the olive tree, so where the conditions are right for the tree, they would be right for Jannah to open a hotel, resort or aparthotel. 

TTG: What does hospitality mean to you personally? 

Hospitality is my life. I have held managerial and leadership roles in several local and international management companies like the great Anantara, but honestly, my best lessons in hospitality come from the noble Bedouins of the Liwa Desert in the Empty Quarter. There I had the pleasure of being acquainted with the elders of a renowned tribe called Manasir, and I was astonished to discover a new level of hospitality as they spoke to me of days of hardship in a deserted land where the pride of hospitality would ask you to put the food (which you hardly had enough of) in front of your guest and let him eat comfortably alone, wait for him to finish and then eat.

When I learned about giving when you don’t have and about guest service before self, when I learned this new level of hospitality, I decided then to become the ambassador of the noble Bedouin hospitality and that is the very soul of Jannah Hotels & Resorts.