For Hussain Al Samahiji his appointment as the new GM of Juffair favourite The K Hotel is like coming home. It’s where he started his hospitality management career in earnest and he spent four years there before moving to one of the Gulf Hotels Group’s (GHG) other properties.
Now, he is back and in the big chair. The country’s youngest Bahraini hotel general manager, at just 38, Hussain has worked his way up having started out in the industry as a waiter with a determination to succeed. He says: “I was brought up to believe that nothing is impossible if you have a vision and you fight to get it. You need always to think positive and don’t listen to people who are not prepared to grow. There are always challenges but you can overcome them.”
Asked what made him choose hospitality, Hussain explains: “I took to it because of the luxury, etiquette and glamour. But, more importantly, why did I go into sales? It’s the area that allows you to meet anyone at any level. I am a sociable kind of guy and I enjoy building strong relationships with our guests and also among the team.”
Hussain first joined The K Hotel as director of sales and marketing back in 2013 and he was soon promoted to executive assistant manager. In that role, he joined a select group heading to the prestigious Cornell University for the General Managers Programme, which is described as: “A transformational learning experience for elite hotel general managers and their immediate successors.”
On his return he transferred to Asdal Gulf Inn, as GM, and served there for 18 months before taking up his current post.
Of his plans for the future, he says: “The K Hotel has an excellent name in the market, and I want to continue to develop that. I will also continue to maintain our top key accounts and corporate clients ensuring our loyal customers receive the service they deserve.
“For the hotel itself, we are due to open a new club lounge on the second floor. It will be an Arabic lounge with music and great food – this is scheduled to launch early next year. We are also planning to refurbish the popular K Lounge during next Ramadan.
“There’s a lot to look forward to in the future and one of the most important aspects of our success is our staff. So, I will continue, as I have always done, to be out and about on the floors; knowing all the staff and being aware of what they do and any issues they may face. Because I’ve done most of the jobs, I can relate to the staff very well.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges the future will bring. I’m a proud Bahraini in a Bahraini company and, this time, I’m here to stay.”