In a candid talk, Ali Akbar, General Manager of JAW Resort & Spa shares his experience of heading a team of proficient staff to promote the property of Jaw Resort & Spa in Bahrain’s hospitality sector with the readers of Travel And Tour World.
Travel And Tour World: What services and amenities are you offering for the promotion of your property in the hospitality sector?
Ali Akbar: Jaw Resort & Spa opened its doors to guests as a distinctive family getaway resort in August 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unique concept of private pool resort villas with complete privacy, white sandy beach beside a clear sea, undisturbed seclusion and stringent hygiene and cleaning protocols was well received by the people of Bahrain, as we were packed to the rafters from day one for the summer months that followed. Before winter arrived, we introduced heating system in our villa swimming pools to ensure guests can enjoy their stay to the fullest even during the cooler months. The following summer season, we installed a 4-slide beachfront water park accessible for all age groups. We followed it with the opening of Kool Kids indoor electronics & VR games area. We have also introduced arguably the best array of Beachfront Romantic Dinner Venues available in Bahrain that do exceedingly well every year.
We strongly believe that the best stream of promotion is a positive word of mouth. This gives us the leverage to introduce new concepts, constantly being in the process of upgrading our hotel facilities for our valuable guests, so they always have something new to look forward to every time they return.
Travel And Tour World: What has been your tourist footfall in 2022 till date?
Ali Akbar: Being a Beachfront Resort Property, our busier months are evidently the warmer months from May until September. This is usually our busiest time of the year with average 90% daily occupancy. However, we still maintained average 50% occupancy during the start of the year, when COVID-19 restrictions weren’t fully out of effect, and maintained similar occupancy towards the end of the year with the arrival of winter. Overall, we managed close to 70% occupancy year to date, a 20% increase from the previous year.
Travel And Tour World: What type of guests (upscale/midscale) do you expect in the 2023 tourism season?
Ali Akbar: Although Jaw Resort & Spa is considered an upscale local brand in Bahrain, owing to our level of customer satisfaction, quality of product and services, and the overall vibe of the premises, we have maintained a reasonable pricing structure to appeal as well to the midscale part of the customer spectrum with the concept of affordable luxury.
Travel And Tour World: In your opinion, what factors contribute to your excellent customer service?
Ali Akbar: The global hospitality industry has been stagnant in this COVID-19 era, and it is now more vital than ever to find new ways to appeal to potential guests. At Jaw Resort & Spa, we believe that there is always room for improvement, enhancement, and innovation. Our team is constantly in the process of introducing and executing newer concepts, finding different ways to fine tune our customer personalization, and ensuring that guest comfort & creating value for money remain paramount to our functioning. It gives us immense satisfaction when Jaw Resort & Spa is popularly even if unofficially spoken of as the Maldives of Bahrain.
Travel And Tour World: You have worked your way up from waiter through various positions to Multi Property GM. What drove you to strive for this level of success?
Ali Akbar: All praise to the Almighty, it has always been my ambition to be a leader and to nurture more leaders along my journey. I have always considered myself a student. My motto is to learn, teach and grow together. I started with F&B, moved to the Rooms Division, and then spread my wings to learn more about engineering and immerse myself into projects which molded me into a productive Operations Manager. This mix of experience from different departments has allowed me to stand where I am today in the hospitality industry. This is my journey and there is still a lot to be achieved yet.
Travel And Tour World: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ali Akbar: I have always dreamt big. I consider the hospitality industry to be quite versatile and evergreen with a global scope. All praise to the Almighty, in my previous 5 years, I have been privileged to introduce 2 unique Family Resort properties and 1 City property in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I envision establishing an internationally recognized hospitality management firm. The setup for this has currently been initiated and I hope to introduce the concept in the coming months. Over the next 5 years, my vision is to widen the horizon further, to introduce and manage similar family-oriented hotel concepts in other parts of the world, wherever the opportunity arises with like-minded property owners who would have the same zest for innovation.