Foresighted business development expert, Emre Kirazci, has set the ball rolling for growth at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, as well as contributed to Bahrain’s overall tourism sector.
Emre joined Sofitel Bahrain in mid-2017 as director of sales and marketing, bringing with him robust experience from working with globally-renowned hospitality brands in the Middle East. “My previous role was in Dubai as director of global sales for FRHI Hotels and Resorts, under which come the brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel,” says the Turkish national.
In a challenging economic environment, Emre’s expertise has added not only to the company’s top line, but also to Bahrain’s tourism industry. “With my team, I had the opportunity to spearhead the successful collaboration between the world’s leading tourism company, Coral Travel, and the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) last year,” he says. “As a result, Russian tourists have contributed BD7 million to Bahrain’s economy in the last travel period between October and May. We are proud to have pioneered this fruitful networking after diligent efforts.
“I have also introduced Coral Travel to local destination management companies and other hotel brands in Bahrain. In order for the industry to grow, our mindset should be one of complementing, and not competing against, each other.”
Sofitel Bahrain has worked hand in hand with the BTEA to establish Bahrain as the hot new locale for Indian destination weddings. Of the 18 weddings that have taken place in 2018-2019, eight have been proudly hosted by the picturesque property in Zallaq, as will five out of the six of those due to take place by the end of 2019. “We are extremely grateful for the wholehearted support of the BTEA, and are proud to be working with the most able event managers and wedding planners to ensure ultimate success,” he says.
Emre believes it is the human asset that sets the property apart from the rest. “Our staff are our ‘heartists’ and brand ambassadors, whose dynamism, eagerness to work and proactive approach has brought us success in the last two years,” he says. “When the Sofitel Bahrain is the stage for a wedding, our staff are at the command of the host families and their guests. All departments work in close cooperation to deliver an unsurpassed experience of luxury.”
As food is a big factor in the success of an Indian wedding, Sofitel offers only the very best. “Celebrity Indian chef, Javed Qureshi, is our executive sous chef for all Indian functions. Guests get the most phenomenal flavours that suit various preferences and tastes,” he says.
Of course, when the event is of such a grand scale, the challenges are higher peaks to scale. Emre says: “Indian hospitality service standards are amongst the most impeccable in the world. Our clients are high-net-worth individuals with refined tastes and equally high expectations. A marriage is a matter of great pride and the most important day in the couple’s life together, and we completely understand that. We leave no stone unturned to comply with their every wish, whatever it may be. No matter what the outcome, we are appreciated for our dynamic response, enthusiasm, flexibility and genuine approach to solving problems.
“2019 has been a great year this far and we are optimistic about the future.”